The Red Sox are in need of a little bit of momentum ahead of their weekend series in the Bronx, and they got off to a good start with Wednesday’s win. On Thursday, they had Martín Pérez on the mound, and he gave them a much-needed solid start. He wasn’t perfectly crisp all the way through and had one rough inning with his control, but all things considered he gave his team every chance to win. The offense, meanwhile, didn’t really have a great game outside of Christian Vázquez. He was all they’d need, though, as he smashed a pair of homers and drove in all three runs as the team squeaked by with a 3-2 victory to make it two in a row.
The Red Sox got themselves back in the win column on Wednesday, but they were still looking for their first win of the season without Nathan Eovaldi on the mound. As they looked to get out in front in this one, they turned early on to one of the heroes of the previous night’s victory. That would be Christian Vázquez, who some sort of super genius wrote about this very morning with respect to him being a good hitter. Funny how things work out, eh?
Vázquez got his first at bat in the top half of the second after both teams had failed to score in the first, and he didn’t wait too long to prove the aforementioned super genius right. The Red Sox catcher led off that inning and got a changeup from Mets lefty that stayed right over the middle of the zone. Vázquez was all over that one, depositing it into the left field seats and giving his team the early 1-0 lead. The Red Sox got a couple more runners in the inning, but no more runs.
On the other end, Martín Pérez was looking to prove that his first rough outing against the Orioles will not be the norm this year. He was looking for the shutdown inning after his catcher handed him a lead, and did just that with a scoreless second. Of course, Vázquez provided some aid here as well, throwing out a would-be base stealer from his knees.
The bottom of the third would start to show some of the issues that Pérez can often suffer from, however. The most notable shortcoming in the southpaw’s game is his lack of strikeouts, but he really gets into trouble with his control as well. Sure enough, he lost the zone in this inning, walking the first batter and hitting the second. He then got a ground ball over to third base, where José Peraza was playing in this one. Peraza would take the ball to third himself for one out, but in his attempt to get the double play he sailed Michael Chavis at first base by about five feet, putting runners on the corners. Pérez then issued another walk to load the bases before Jeff McNeil came through with a two-run single, putting the Mets out in front by one.
Pérez did get out of it after that without any more runs, and then it was up to Vázquez once again to get back out in front. Well, first Xander Bogaerts led off the inning with a little infield single. Then it was Vázquez’s turn. This time around he fell behind 0-2, but then he jumped on a fastball at the top of the zone and put it just up and over the left field wall for a two-run shot and his second dinger of the game and his third in two days. More importantly, he put his team back in front with a 3-2 score. There were no more runs in the inning, though Michael Chavis did finally get his first hit of the year.
From here, it was up to Pérez to hold the lead and he did a solid job. Peraza did make another throwing error to start the bottom of the fourth, but Pérez got a double play after that en route to a three-batter inning. He came back out for a perfect fifth as well. The lefty then came back out of the sixth as well, walking one but recording two outs before his night came to an end. Heath Hembree came on to face Yoenis Céspedes and struck him out to end the inning and close the book on Pérez’s night. In total, he allowed the two runs over 5 2⁄3 innings on two hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
After the Red Sox went down in order in the top of the seventh as they continued to scuffle a bit at the plate, Hembree came back out for the bottom of the inning and immediately started things off by giving up a leadoff single to Robinson Canó. Andres Giménez then came on as a pinch runner and quickly stole second base without a throw to put the tying run in scoring position. Hembree got a big ground out to the left side after that to keep the runner at second and then got a big strikeout for the second out. That left things up to Amed Rosario, but Hembree won that battle as well, getting a ground ball to Bogaerts to end the inning with the lead still in hand.
The offense would go down in order yet again in the eighth, bringing Matt Barnes for the bottom of the inning. He would hit the first batter he faced to put the tying run on base. Barnes got the first out after that, but then after getting ahead 0-2 to J.D. Davis he allowed a base hit. Just like that, runners were one the corners with just one out. After a strikeout to Michael Conforto and a walk to Céspedes, the bases were loaded for Giménez. Somehow, Barnes navigated his way out of the inning, getting a ground ball to Chavis to end the inning with the 3-2 lead still intact.
Finally, the Red Sox offense got a little bit going in the top half of the ninth against Mets closer Edwin Díaz. Alex Verdugo drew a walk with a great at bat to start things off, and Chavis had a great at bat himself to work a full count. Verdugo took off on the 3-2 pitch and Chavis put it through the wide open hole to put runners on the corners. After an Andrew Benintendi walk, the bases were loaded and Rafael Devers was coming up as a pinch hitter. Díaz won that battle with a huge strikeout. That brought Peraza to the plate, and he was rewarded for a tremendous at bat with a hit by pitch to both give the Red Sox a two-run lead and knock Díaz out of the game. Paul Sewald then came in and got the final two outs.
That would bring us to the bottom of the ninth, where Brandon Workman came out for his third straight appearance looking to protect a two-run lead. He got a quick first out, but then gave up a single to Brandon Nimmo. He came back from that with a big strikeout, leading to the powerful Pete Alonso coming up representing the tying run. Workman got the Mets first baseman on a high fastball, and that was that. Make it two in a row for the good guys.
So the Red Sox will look to carry this little two-game win streak into the Bronx for a very challenging three-game set against the Yankees coming up. They’ll have Ryan Weber on the mound on Friday going up against Jordan Montgomery. First pitch is at 7:00 PM ET.